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University Relations

University of Central Missouri
Administration 302
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4640
Fax: 660-543-4943


New Contract Expands Blackboard Capabilities, Also Creates Savings

Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (June 29, 2011) – In a special June 27 meeting by telephone, the University of Central Missouri’s Board of Governors approved the award of a three-year contract to Blackboard, Inc. for an outcomes assessment and accountability management system. Blackboard provides the campus-wide online course management system, and the contract approved by the board allows the university to expand its capabilities to address other institutional needs.

Blackboard contract signing

UCM President Charles Ambrose signed an agreement with Blackboard, Inc. Joining Ambrose are, front left to right, Keith Giltner, strategic account executive for Blackboard, Chicago; George Wilson, provost and vice president for academic affairs; back row from left,
Mike Jeffries, director of CentralNet; David Rice, assistant provost for information technology and instruction; Mike Smith, director of procurement; and Mike Grelle, associate provost for academic programs and services.

George Wilson, provost and vice president for academic affairs, said the contract was initially planned for consideration in August. By awarding the contract for the Fully Integrated Blackboard Learn Platform, plus the new Blackboard Outcomes Assessment prior to end of June, the university will not only expand its use of Blackboard, but it will result in considerable savings for the university over the next three years, July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014. The total cost of the contract is $365,101 for year one, $349,722 for year two, and $365,978 for year three. Total savings from price negotiations for the contract period will be $420,915.

The Blackboard Outcome Assessment feature will allow UCM to continuously measure improvement, and report upon performance benchmarks at the institutional, program, unit, course, and instrument levels. It can also be used to plan institutional goals, find gaps in curriculum with curriculum maps and to survey groups such as students, prospective students, employers and alumni.

The purchase comes at a time when the university is preparing for the Higher Learning Commission self-study in 2013. The new Blackboard system will not only play a significant role in preparation for the
re-accreditation process but will also help with many other professional accreditations which take place on a yearly basis. Blackboard services also will help UCM to improve its ability to track strategic planning efforts and replace other reporting systems currently in use.

Funding for the system comes from Student Technology Fees, Information Services general operations account, and the Office of the Provost general operations account.